Sunday, August 30, 2009

Correcting the Record...

Well, it’s official. Mr. Grumble has lodged his first-ever complaint!

My husband has been the focus of dozens of my newspaper columns over the years. I’ve teased about his house-keeping skills. I’ve blabbed about his idiosyncrasies. I’ve chuckled over his lack of grace, his shyness, and his typical maleness. I’ve told my readers about his love of junk and how his pat-rack tendencies irritate me, and I’ve even shared the story about the time he picked up a half-frozen dog turd, thinking it was a rock.

Oh, dear. That one still gets to me. Pardon me while I giggle in glee at the memory of that day! It’s just that…oh, the expression on his face! The utter horror as his fingers sunk into the ‘pebble’…the disgust as he tried to extend the length of his arm past its means as he ran to the house to wash off the ‘rock fragments’… and even the pique at ME, for not warning him in advance that stones in Maine were rarely elongated or a bit curly, nor did they have embedded hair in them. I’m such a wayward wife. I really need to do a better job at protecting Mr. Grumble from himself!

I'll say it again. Oh, dear…

Now, where was I? Oh yes... my husband has voiced a protest. He read my premiere posting on GAG, which recounted the details of our wedding anniversary and how he’d forgotten it (although by the time he saw the article, it was also my featured column in The Irregular) and he took umbrage with me. Oh, not for writing the article…he knows I’m irrepressible when I’ve got the urge to tell a story. His indignation stems from the fact that he believes the story is not factual. He still claims he did not forget our anniversary. And because he didn’t forget, I shouldn’t go around telling people he did.

"Well, honey…if you didn’t forget, what would you call it?”

His brow knits in concentration.

"I simply didn’t realize the month had advanced as quickly as it had!”

“Oh, give me a break! You forgot it was our anniversary!”

“No, Karen, I certainly did not. I simply forgot what the date was! I can prove it! I’ll even show you a check that I wrote out just two days before the fourteenth! I dated it the third!”

I can’t help but smile. Stupidity is an excellent defense. Any good attorney will tell you that.

“Okay, Mr. Grumble, I’ll give you that. You didn’t forget it was our anniversary; you misplaced nine days in August, instead. I do apologize for teasing you about it.”

“Well, all right then.” He wears a look of vindication. “But I’d like you to print a retraction.”

“A retraction…” Hmm. This sounds interesting.

“That’s right. I want your next blog to state that I did not forget our anniversary! I’m not insensitive, and I won’t have people thinking that I am.” Ooh, how resolved is his tone!

“Well, hon, I certainly don’t think I made you out as an uncaring jerk. Just a… mildly distracted one., that is–not jerk.” I smiled. “Are you sure, then, that you’d rather I told the absolute truth? That you are not insensitive, but rather, you merely lost track of more than a week, with no idea where it had gone? Because I’ll do that for you. I love you that much!”

“Thank you.” For my compliance, I receive a pat on my head as he walks by on his way out the door. He’s headed to a meeting, you see. Of the Township’s Historical Society. An August 28th meeting. And this is August 30th. The poor fellow.

I hope the other members didn’t think Mr. Grumble was insensitive when he failed to appear. He’s not. He’s just distracted.

Picking up half-frozen dog turds will do that to a man.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Down Under Dunder, Bullying and Kara Tamanini

Bullying is one of the themes in my YA novel, Grumble Bluff.

If you’ve ever been the victim of bullying, you know how debilitating and terrifying it can be. And if you’ve ever been a bully, perhaps you understand the phenomenon even better. Bullies and their victims…in my opinion, they both are deserving of some extra attention.

One of the followers to my new blog, Grumbles And Grins, is Kara Tamanini. She is a licensed child therapist, and she graciously agreed to write an article about bullying for my friend Jack Ramsay’s blog, Down Under Dunder. I encourage you all to visit Jack’s blog and check out Kara’s article as well as some others in the same vein. If we shine the spotlight on school bullying, maybe one day such despicable behavior will become atypical rather than the rule. Personally, I look forward to the day when it is ‘cooler’ to be kind and tolerant than it is to be a bully.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Docs and Socks

I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow. It’s not something I look forward to, although this particular appointment doesn’t promise to be as harrowing as those wonderful ‘yearly physicals’ always are. Ugh.

This time, with any luck, I’ll be allowed to remain fully clothed. I have nothing against being naked, mind you. As long as I’m naked in a dark, windowless room with a padlock on both sides of the door, and as long there is no one else in there with me.

Am I a prude? No. Certainly not. I’m simply self-conscious. And that’s not something I’m allowed to be at the doctor’s office.

Even if I am permitted to keep my pants zipped and my blouse buttoned, there is still a modicum of humiliation involved when I visit the clinic. Oh, those good folks in the soft-soled shoes don’t waste any time worrying about my dignity. A cool smile greets me, and a finger points the way to the bathroom. They need a ‘sample’, they tell me. Their polite way of telling me to pee in a cup.

It sounds easy, right? I mean, I know whereabouts to hold the opaque white cup. I do! But in my nervousness I can’t seem to hit it dead-on. And worse, I can’t seem to stop. Who knew that one cup of cocoa…those TWO cups of cocoa… would travel so quickly through my system? My cup runneth over!

And onto my hand. Blech.

So, now what? I gingerly set the cup on the floor. I finish up. I walk to the sink and wash. Using a paper towel, I pick up my cup and attempt to wipe down the outside. After all…it’s pee. I can’t hand a nurse a dripping cup of pee, can I? My mother would have a fit at my lack of decorum! No. Dry it must be! It’s bad enough that it’s warm. A warm cup of pee tells an intimate story. It says, well… it says: I JUST PEED AND NOW YOU GET TO HOLD IT!

Good heavens.

We move onwards from ‘The Passing of the Urine Sample’ to one of my most favorite portions of the visit. That segment destined to depress and embarrass me. The scales. That’s right. Even if I was just at the doctor’s office yesterday, still… I must get weighed. Even with yesterday’s history chart in hand, the ‘Recorder of the Poundage’ feels it necessary to ask me what I think I weigh (She’s got that information right there! Does she just like to see me writhe?) so that she can slide those clunky fifty-increment weights back and forth with some semblance of authority.

I mumble an approximate number. I kick off my shoes. I consider peeling off my socks, but I chicken out. After all, she’s sliding weights around, waiting for my bulk to climb aboard, for pity's sake! This is serious business, and I must not dilly-dally. I exhale, assuming I will weigh less without oxygen in my lungs. And I step up onto the blasted things.

Oh, no. I forgot! She wants to see how tall I am, too. Have I grown since my last visit? Since yesterday??? The metal bar flips up from the front of the scales, and she slides it down until it meets the top of my head.

What’s this? I’ve shrunk three inches? No, no, weight! I mean, WAIT! In my attempt to force the air from my thoracic cavity, I’ve humped my shoulders and dropped my head, trying like the dickens to keep the O2 out. Do I straighten up, thereby decreasing with one quick motion my excessive Body Mass Index? If I do that, though, the air will rush back into my lungs (for nature abhors a vacuum almost as much as my teenage daughter does) and those three ounces of air will show up on the scale. Oh, decisions, decisions!

At last, I’m given permission to dismount. Phew. What truly horrid things, scales. I’ll bet a skinny person invented them. A tall, skinny person, with a BMI of three.

And now, it’s off to an examining room. One of those air-conditioned cubicles with white walls, gleaming sink, and a cushioned table covered in crinkly paper and with cold metal stirrups bolted to one end. Yes, stirrups. Good Lord. Hi-ho, Silver!

I’ll just take this wheeled stool, thank you.

The stethoscope and sphygmomanometer come out. (You see, yesterday I waited long enough for the doc to appear that I read up through to the T’s in his medical dictionary. ) The nurse takes my sphygmo. My sphygmoma. My sphymomano! Okay, okay. She takes my blood pressure. Ooh! It’s a bit high, today. Do I have any idea why that is?

Peed in cup! Got weighed! Shrunk three inches! Sheesh. These people are clueless.

Finally, my doctor rolls in. I stand. I extend my hand to shake his. I wonder as I do if he’s been lugging around any opaque cups. But it’s too late, I’m committed. At least his grip is firm and steady. That seems like a good thing, but I’m not sure why. It’s not like he’s going to be performing surgery on me or anything, today. Right? RIGHT?

My physician flips through my chart. He says ‘Hmmmm,’ and my pulse races. It’s a good thing the nurse already took it, I suppose. Doc looks at me and smiles.

'Well,’ says that learned gentleman, ‘it looks like we’re going to need a sample of your blood. Have you eaten anything today?’

I hesitate.

‘No, but I did have a cup of cocoa. Actually, TWO cups of cocoa.’ Dratted chocolate gets me into trouble every time! ‘Why?’

“Well, you need to fast from midnight onwards in order for this blood test to be accurate. I’m afraid you’ll have to come back tomorrow.’

I sigh. I stand and shake his hand. I might as for a penny, in for a pound. I walk solemnly out the door and stop at the office window to pay my ninety dollars. Ninety bucks to get weighed. And measured. And to have the honor of peeing in a special opaque cup. Another sigh.

Well, things are bound to be better tomorrow.

Tomorrow, I am NOT wearing socks!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Name That Newfie Contest

Before I forget--AGAIN-- I'd like to invite everyone to enter my 'Name That Newfie' contest on my website, I will be introducing a Newfoundland puppy in an upcoming sequel to Grumble Bluff, and I'd love to have reader participation in choosing a name. The winner will receive an autographed copy of Grumble Bluff. I'll be naming the winner on September 20th, so come on by and place your entry!

(You can also enter by leaving your suggestions in the 'comments' section of this blog entry.)

Along that same vein, Grumble Bluff will be coming out in paperback in the next few weeks, with a retail price of $10.95 per copy, which will make it much more affordable for young adults (and their parents!) And in this economy, we need all the help we can get!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Letting Go

Just a quickie today, for I’m a bit worn out.

This was the day that my parents, my uncle and I moved my grandmother out of the home she’s lived in for the last forty years. While I am pleased to know that she will now be living closer to me, thereby allowing me to enjoy her beautiful personality on a regular basis, I’m sad, too. I’m sad that my grandmother is sad. I’m sorry that she’s saying goodbye to the home that she made with my grandfather, whom she loved dearly. And I’m down-in-the-dumps because she knows that her last bit of independence is gone. She’s ninety-three. A good age. She’s done extremely well to have remained self-sufficient for this long. But it’s time she let someone take care of her, for a change. She’s taken care of us for a long, long time.

I’m proud of her, and I’m proud to be her granddaughter.

But today, I am sad.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Country Girl in the City

It is August 16th, two days into my blogging experience, and what I DON’T know about it is enough to make me GAG. Grumbling and grinning… that’s pretty much what life is full of, isn’t it? I try my best to make sure the grins outweigh the grumbles!

This may not be the proper venue, but I’d like to wish my nieces, Cassandra and Elizabeth, a happy 26th birthday. When you celebrate, do NOT do anything you wouldn’t want your mother (or your aunt Karen) to find out about, and you’ll be just fine! I love you both.

A friend encouraged me to put a column or two that I’ve written for ‘Observations From The FARM (Fresh Air and Room to Move)’ on my blog, so I’ll start with this one. A little bit from my recent trip to The Big Apple…

Over the years, I’ve written columns about life here in rural western Maine. Since I’m a country girl, such stories are from within my comfort zone.

I’ve also written about the few times I have ventured OUTSIDE these bucolic surroundings which make up my home and community. I’ve shared the dread I felt when traveling to Maine’s largest city, Portland, for continuing education classes. I’ve detailed my exploits at the ballet in Bangor, and yes—even discussed my angst in a public bathroom in Farmington.

But none of these fair cities can compare to the one I visited last month. I, Karen Bessey Pease, traveled to New York City! The Big Apple! New York, New York!

I am a lover of nature, an enthusiast of wide open spaces. I like fresh air and room to move! However, I also like to pretend that I’m brave. I am determined to try new experiences when they are presented to me. And so, with friend Patty in tow, I flew to JFK airport on May twenty-eighth.

I think I surprised my family. I believe they thought I simply would not make the trip! But I’d been offered a spot in my publisher’s booth at the Book Expo America, and how could I refuse such an invitation? It was an opportunity to promote my new novel, and it was a chance to see a place I’d never imagined being able to visit.

Of course, those who love me offered all kinds of helpful advice. My favorite pep talk came from an adult male whom I love and respect.

“Have fun, Babe. But… don’t be too EARTHY, will you? Don’t want you to embarrass your family…”

“Thanks a lot!’ I said. “That’s exactly what I’m worried about!”

“Oh, just keep your mouth shut, and you’ll be all right!”

What a vote of confidence! Didn’t he know what he was asking? Didn’t he know who he was talking to? Eeek!

Another friend had these sage words.

“You probably shouldn’t talk about flatulence…”

And then, as I recounted those words of unsolicited advice to a friend outside the hardware store, expecting sympathy from her and a bit of support, she added this to the pot!

“Well, remember! It’s not just your family you’re representing! It’s the whole state of Maine. For God’s sake, don’t screw up!”

Am I THAT bad? I was determined NOT to embarrass my family! Nor my fellow Mainers! I was absolutely resolute! No earthiness! No bodily functions! I’d talk about what city-folk talked about! Surely, I could learn a thing or two! I would be a quick study, and garner a mass of useful information on how a proper urbanite comported herself. I’d show these doubters just how classy I can be!

But, what to wear? My closet contains jeans, dungarees, and yes, a pair of Dickeys. For special occasions, like brush burning and manure shoveling. So I asked a friend or two for suggestions.
One of my female friends told me to be ‘clean and neat’! Now, come on! I KNOW clean and neat, woman! I’m clean and neat in my jeans! I needed more assistance than she could offer. She’s a farmer, too, after all.

A male friend told me to wear heels. Yes, you heard me. Heels. I’m six feet tall, for Pete’s sake. Were we on the same page, I wondered? I wanted to know what to wear to a BOOK EXPOSITION! Where, I assumed, STUDIOUS people roamed. Heels. Hmmmm.

I was on my own, it seemed. Never a good thing when fashion is involved! I did something desperate. I bought a tube of mascara. I know, I know… it’s a bit risqué for a woman of my age and temperament. But—New York City! I just KNEW that women in the city wore mascara, and I was determined to blend in and become one of the crowd. No way were they going to be able to look at me and tell at a glance that I was a hick from the sticks. Uh-uh! I was NOT going to embarrass my family! No earthiness, no flatulence, and no stubby eyelashes!

Lucky for me, Patty actually made ME look good. I’d never expected that. She’d overslept, and so was in a state of controlled panic when I awoke her at 4:30 a.m. by calling her from outside her locked and dark house. She’d packed the night before, so she simply grabbed her toothbrush and shoved her bare feet into sneakers. And… we were off!

What Patty hadn’t remembered was that we had to go through security at the airport. Bags and shoes on the x-ray conveyor, body through the metal detector. Off came her sneakers. Out came her bare feet. Those same bare feet that had traipsed through her garden the night before, and that had missed the opportunity for an early morning shower! Yes, I laughed. It was a typical bonehead moment, but for once, it wasn’t mine!

Ah, Patty. Is it any wonder that I love her?

We arrived at our hotel, which was just one block from Times Square, by 10:30 that morning. We crowded into the tiny, two-person elevator and took our small pieces of luggage up to our rooms. I was anxious to experience the city, but I’d forgotten one thing. A box of my books had been delivered to the hotel, and I needed to retrieve them and store them in our room until the Expo. So, alone, I went back to the lobby. I retrieved my box. I approached the miniscule elevator and pressed the UP arrow. I heard a ding, the door rolled open, and a beefy, robust man stepped into the lobby and scurried to the front door. I crossed the threshold and pressed the button for the third floor, my box of books balanced on my hip. And, just as the door slid shut, I took a breath.

I shouldn’t have done that. I tried not to do it again. I also tried desperately not to laugh or gag, as that would have made my situation more appalling. I reached my floor and bolted from the small, enclosed space. I took a great lungful of fresh air. I giggled, I walked to my room, I stored my novels. And then I took off for a walking tour of New York City with my pal. I said nothing earthy, and I spoke not a word about bodily functions.

But I’ve gotta tell you. I felt right at home.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Nature Knows Best

I nearly stepped on a toad last night. And that got me thinking…

I love toads. Call me silly if you will, but I love frogs, too. One of the most anticipated heralds of spring is the sound of yearning and cajoling peepers echoing across the fields and bogs at The FARM. Every year the kids and I search the vernal pools and spring holes for the results of those cool weather rituals, and we keep a close watch on the beaded strings of toad eggs, and those more compact masses belonging to the frogs…watching and waiting for the pollywogs to emerge. We follow their progress as those tadpoles grow and develop legs, as they grow larger and lose their tails…until at last, those amphibians leave their liquid home to breathe air as we do–unfiltered through gills.

The best thing about toads and frogs, of course, is that they eat mosquitoes, black flies and midges.

I hate mosquitoes, black flies and midges.

As beneficial as our common, local species of frogs and toads are, though, I’ve recently been educated about a type of toad that is NOT beneficial. Nor, I’ve been told, is it loved.

Apparently, in the 1930’s, the Australian government imported cane toads from Hawaii in an attempt to biologically ‘manage’ the cane beetle. Of course, as is often the case, no one took the time to inform the cane toads of the duties they were required to perform. Nope, the buggers were just set down in a cane field and left to their own devices, much like letting children out to play at recess with no playground monitor. Any good parent could tell you the likely outcome…chaos would reign.

I’m not finding fault, here. Oh, no. For I almost made a similar mistake, once. When we first purchased The FARM, we talked constantly about digging a pond. Something good-sized that would allow us to swim on lazy summer afternoons. A pool that was large enough to encourage migrating Canadian geese to settle and raise their broods, and something to provide fire protection, too, as we are many miles from the nearest fire department. But such an undertaking was not only expensive; it involved a whole king-sized roll of red tape. LURC most likely would have to get involved, as well as the DEP, and maybe even the Army Corps of Engineers. It was a bit mind-boggling.

One evening, my husband voiced his thoughts aloud.

“You know what would be great? If we had a beaver or two move into the brook! They could build a dam and MAKE us a pond…and it wouldn’t cost us a cent!”

Well, I love making my husband’s every wish come true! And I had a bit of an advantage. As the daughter of a retired game warden, I knew several of those local game management experts! And so, the first time I ran into an old friend in uniform, I made my request.

“Dennis,” I said, “the next time you trap some beavers to relocate, can I have them?”

Dennis blinked at me in surprise. (Apparently, he thought the plural of beaver was beaver [much like moose and deer], and was in awe of my grasp of the English language as I added that ‘s’ to the word…)

“Well, yeah…I guess so…”

“Great!” I gave him a cheeky grin and thanked him. I couldn’t wait to tell my husband of my excellent work.

After supper that night, I sprung my surprise on Mr. Grumble.

“Hon, guess what I did! I got us some beavers!”

Another blink, another man who wasn’t up on the plural spellings of our local fauna.


“Beavers! Dennis is going to bring us some! We’ll have our very own pond in no time!”

I waited for the grin, the hug, the ‘Holy smokes, you are SOME kind of wife!’ But instead, I got a wrinkled brow and a cocked head.

“Karen?... How will you tell these beavers where we want our pond?”

“Huh?” It was my turn to sound sharp and intellectual.

“Well, what if these beavers decide to build right below the house? We’ll be flooded out! Or what if they choose to make their dam across the road and they block the culverts? That would wash the road out.”

Details, details! Why was he being so…


“I’m just saying, Karen…you can’t tell a beaver where to build his dam!”


“But, you said…” I whined.

It’s impossible to make these men happy. Simply impossible.

Chagrinned, I had to track down our local game warden–and fast–before he hauled his live traps over to Lexington Township. I had to explain to a grinning Dennis that I’d changed my mind. That I didn’t want any beavers. That I didn’t even want one single beaver! Because, after all, they do not follow instructions. Once they’re let loose in a new environment, they make their own decisions. They don’t give a dam what we foolish humans want them to do.

And I guess the same is true for the cane toad Down Under. Unlike our indigenous toads, though, the cane toad is poisonous. They are also picky eaters. They ignored those cane beetles and sought other, tastier treats. And in the meantime, they’ve wreaked havoc on many of the Aussies’ native animals, since ingesting the toads' poison is fatal.

It’s a hard lesson to learn. Nature knows best, and man (or woman) would do well to remember that. You can’t force a cane toad to eat a beetle, nor can you easily confine him to a cane field. You can’t make your pets leave them alone. And… you can’t tell a beaver where to build his dam.


Friday, August 14, 2009

We'll Start with a Grumble AND a Grin

Welcome to Grumbles and Grins!

I am excited to have my very own blog, and I hope to meet many new friends this way. I’m a novice–not to writing, for I’ve had a pen in hand since I was a young girl–but to blogging, and to much in the IT world. Please bear with me while I figure this whole thing out.

Yeah…it may be awhile. The gray matter isn’t what it used to be, you know.

Grumbles and Grins–or GAG, as I’ll affectionately call it–is where I will write my thoughts for the day. Why would anyone care about my thoughts, you ask? I haven’t a clue. But I care about yours, and besides…writing of any sort is good practice for those of us who can’t seem to stay away from a keyboard, and who feel the urge to tell stories and create pictures from our words. It’s one of my most favorite pastimes!

And so, for my initial post I’ll give you this picture: A deer in the headlights.

That’s easy to envision, right? Especially if you live in a place like Maine–where our beautiful white-tailed deer amble out to our byways after dark to lick the salt from the road, to escape the thick flies in the forest, or to simply have a spirited sprint down a lane unobstructed by thick undergrowth. And then along we come, interrupting their evening sport with our noisy, smelly, and often dangerous vehicles. Our headlights angle in slivers around the corner–and there they are. Heads come up, bodies freeze in mid-action as they stare at this terrible intrusion into the peace of their night. You can almost hear their alarm… feel their panic as they try to make a snap decision about how to escape this terror thrust upon them. And then the glorious white flags come up–waving a warning to their kin–and away they go, soaring in graceful bounds up over the embankment to the safety of the woods beyond.

That, of course, is what happens in a perfect world.

My husband’s world was not quite so perfect this morning. You see…it’s our 16th wedding anniversary. And he forgot.

A deer-in-the-headlight moment. And I’ve gotta tell you, I can enjoy the heck out of those!

I firmly believe that if a wife is to suffer the disgrace of having her mate forget that ONE SIGNIFICANT DATE pertaining to their LIFELONG COMMITMENT, then she ought to be able to take pleasure in her husband’s discomfort when his failure to remember it is pointed out to him. (In the nicest possible way, of course!)

I hadn’t even left our bed before I realized Mr. Grumble had overlooked the date. He’d already up-and-showered and was just dressing as I awoke at six a.m. If he’d remembered, well…chances are good that he would have wakened me FIRST, then had his shower and gotten dressed. (Or better yet, had his shower, climbed back under the sheets, THEN wakened me, and THEN donned his clothes a half-hour later.) That’s an anniversary ritual…or it should be, in my books!

But no, Mr. Grumble was pulling his socks on, sitting on the side of the bed with his back to me when I reached over and rubbed his back. He turned and smiled that handsome smile.

“Good morning,” he said.

“Happy anniversary,” I replied.

A deer-in-the-headlight moment!

Ah, his expression was priceless. It almost made the whole thing worth it! Disbelief, panic, chagrin and worry…each expression flitted across his face in the space of a second or two as he tried to figure out how to recover gracefully. Without looking like a total bonehead. He was impressively unsuccessful.

“No, it’s not.” Like he could argue the calendar into being wrong.

“Yes, it is.” The calendar is never wrong, and I share much in common with the calendar.

“It can’t be.” The dear man doesn’t give up easily.

“But, it is. Happy anniversary, honey. Your gift is right outside the closet door. Why don’t you go get it?”

“I can’t.” The panic was defeating the chagrin.

“Why not?” Oh, it was hard not to chuckle!

“I have to go to town, first.” My snicker overcame my self-control.

“Oh, brother. It’s too late, now! You blew it. Just go get your present!”

Well, he did. He hated to, but he did. My gift was nothing very romantic…just a new pair of dress pants, a cheap pocket watch to replace his cheaper one, and some new underwear. Hey, I said sixteen years! The honeymoon is over, and practicality wins out.

My husband groused about the fact that not one of my girlfriends took the time to remind him of our anniversary. He muttered that the month had simply flown by too quickly, and if it HADN’T, he would have remembered in time! He said my mother should have given him a hint in the last day or two, so that he wouldn’t be looking like such a dork right about now. Oh, there was plenty of blame to go around. The poor man. His day is ruined now, because he forgot our anniversary.


I’ll leave you with this. While I am a woman (and therefore, I love to be ‘made of’ and wooed) I am also sensible. My husband loves me 365 days a year. He’s never called me a name or raised his hand to me. He works hard, he supports his family, he is honest and he’s a man of integrity. He loves me, and I know that he does. So who am I to complain if he forgets that today is August 14th, the anniversary of the day he won the ultimate prize? The day the best thing to ever happen to him…happened to him? Nah, I’ll not hold this against him. Not for long, anyway…a woman has to make her point, after all.

On the plus side, in his rush to find an excuse to ‘go to town’, my husband volunteered to keep my truck’s appointment at the garage forty miles away. It was a chore I’d been dreading, having spent my last day off in that same manner. Instead of sitting wedged on a couch between strangers, reading Jeep Magazine and listening to pneumatic wrenches squeal, telephones ring and hammers bang, I get to sit at my computer and write my first blog entry on GAG. Life is good. It really is.

Happy anniversary, Mr. Grumble. And...I hope the repairs aren't too time-consuming.